Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Prestigious contract is up for grabs
By Eric Stern -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:01 am PDT Saturday, June 17, 2006
Story appeared on Page A3 of The Bee
Last year, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory demolished an Olympic-sized swimming pool that the staff had been using for fun since the 1950s.
The pool was designed as a training facility for pilots when the lab was a naval air station.
Officials at the nuclear weapons lab determined that the cost of continued upkeep and replacing the aging pool wasn't a good use of taxpayer dollars. It was a culture shift at the University of California-run lab, which has been under pressure by Congress for overruns and delays on a multibillion-dollar superlaser.
UC has operated the historic labs in Livermore and Los Alamos, N.M., since their inception. But after concerns in recent years about security lapses and financial irregularities, the U.S. Department of Energy has forced the university to compete for the lab management contracts.[...]
I would like to see the cost/benefit analysis that was done on this, if such a thing was done.
My suspicion is that DOE is just looking for another way to get nuclear and other kinds of science for minimum wage and no benefits.
Maybe they could get some illegal immigrants? I am sure they wouldn't require a swimming pool. On the other hand it might be necessary to fudge a few things on their employment applications. But no illegal immigrant would expect a swimming pool.
So what does DOE do.. it keeps ratcheting up the pressure that the Senators and Representatives of the area will ask for Livermore to be moved. Show off really big gun-boat SUV's, let everyone know that your doubling the amount of plutonium to be stored at Livermore, etc etc. My guess will be that the big kicker will be that UC/Bechtel will not get the contract. That would basically be the "why do we have this anymore?"
I wish the guys in California the best of luck.. but I think the writing is on the wall.